The upcoming reboot of the Kickboxer franchise is shaping up to be a pretty impressive gathering of some of Hollywood’s rising stars in action movies.
After the initial announcement of the project back in May 2014, things are moving along quickly. The full cast of the film was announced this week by the CEO of the financing company backing the project, and the list of names includes quite a few talented martial artists who have begun making a name for themselves on the big screen in recent years.
Along with the previously announced lead, Alain Moussi (a veteran martial artist who performed stunt work in X-Men: Days of Future Past and Pacific Rim), UFC champion Georges St. Pierre (who appeared in Captain America: The Winter Soldier), and WWE wrestler Dave Bautista (Guardians of the Galaxy, Riddick), the film has also added well-known martial arts movie actors Scott Adkins and Tony Jaa.
Adkins has been a staple in action movies for several years now, with supporting roles in The Bourne Ultimatum, The Expendables 2, and X-Men Origins: Wolverine. He also played the lead role in Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning (starring alongside original Kickboxer star Jean-Claude Van Damme), and has played a recurring lead role in several installments of lower-profile, low-budget martial arts franchises, including Undisputed 2 and Undisputed 3, as well as 2009’s Ninja and its sequel, 2013’s Ninja: Shadow of a Tear.
Thai actor Tony Jaa (pictured) made a name for himself as the star of 2003’s acclaimed martial-arts adventure Ong-bak, and later wrote, directed, and starred in two sequels to the film. Jaa has appeared in multiple, well-received martial-arts films over the years, showcasing his expertise in muay thai and other martial arts. In addition to his role in Kickboxer, he also has a role in Fast & Furious 7.
“Kickboxer will display a style of acrobatic, rapid-fire martial arts action that Scott Adkins is increasingly becoming synonymous with,” said Brian O’Shea, CEO of The Exchange, in a statement accompanying the announcement. “Along with Tony Jaa, Kickboxer has compiled a talented cast to push the boundaries of the martial arts form.”
Much like the original Kickboxer, the film follows a martial artist (played by Moussi) who travels to Thailand to compete in a dangerous tournament in order to avenge the death of his brother, who was killed by the tournament’s reigning champion, Tong Po (Bautista).
There’s no release date set for the film at this point.